Boot Camps & Military Schools in Iowa

Boot Camps & Military Schools in Iowa

Parents seeking a solution to the behavior of their troubled teens may receive the advice to look into military school or boot camp. However, before making a selection, it is important to understand the details of the different programs available. At Help Your Teen Now, we aim to educate and inform parents about the options for your at-risk teen. Take advantage of our free phone consultation to see how we can provide you with the knowledge you need to move forward.

Boot Camps Are Not The Best Option for Troubled Teens from Iowa

The reality of military school and boot camps for teens are different than what you might have seen in the movies. There are factors that may make these programs a poor fit for your child’s needs. Military schools are institutions that prepare students for officer service in the military, while providing a quality education. These facilities do not make allowances for at-risk teens and students who cannot or will not respect authority will be asked to leave. Boot camps follow a similar military regime, but are remedial and short-term. While the rigid schedule and tough discipline style may be a first step toward a long term therapy program, boot camps have been proven to have a very low long term success rate. Because they are non-therapeutic and non-academic, they do very little to deal with the teen’s issues causing the behaviors and recurrence of bad behavior is likely. At Help Your Teen Now, we partner with you as you explore other options such as therapeutic boarding schools and alternative high schools in order to give you and your teen a better shot at reaching your long term goals.

School Name
School Style

The Howe School and Summer Camp


Therapy Services

Iowa Regulatory Laws

Although accreditation for nonpublic schools is optional, schools that wish to apply must submit an application to the Department of Education the prior year. Iowa Code §281.12. Teacher certification is required for instructors in all accredited schools (Iowa Code §280.2) and all schools must be adequately staffed according to state standards. Iowa Code §280.14. A minimum educational program as detailed by the Iowa Board of Education must be implemented by all accredited schools, both public and nonpublic. The program must reflect a “multicultural, gender fair approach” (Iowa Code §§256.11, 280.3) and nonpublic schools are required to incorporate career education and occupational education into their curriculum. Iowa Code §256.11b. Non-emergency medical services may be performed by nonpublic schools without a license or previous consent. Iowa Code §280.23. A minimum of two fire drills and two tornado drills are required each semester. Installed warning systems and safety regulations must be inspected by the local fire department at least every two years. Iowa Code §100.31. Parents may receive tax credits for books and tuition in private schools. Iowa Code §422.12.


Statistics for At-Risk Iowa Teens



Iowa children between ages 4-17 diagnosed each year with ADD/ADHD: 9.7% (U.S. Department of Education, State Regulation of Private Schools, 2009) .



For Iowa women between 15-19 years old: 30.7 – 39.0 per 1,000 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2009 Study).



National suicide ranking: 28th. Number of deaths: 49 (crude rate 11.4). (CDC’s WISQARS website “Fatal Injury Reports, 2010”;)



In a 2009 report, it showed that 9.5% of Iowa teens abuse alcohol and 12.1% are binge drinking. Marijuana use in Iowa teens was 6.4% and other illicit drug use was at 4.6%. (State Report, 2009, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.)



Juvenile arrests in Iowa for 2008 included 1,792 arrests for property crime, 252 arrests for violent crime, 1,558 arrests for property crime, 396 arrests for drug abuse and 57 arrests for weapons violations, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. (Washington, DC: Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2009).



For the 2010-2011 school year, Iowa reported a 88% high school graduation rate. (U.S. Department of Education, Graduation Rates 2010-2011)


If you are considering military school or boot camp as a solution for your struggling teen, please contact us today. Boot camp and military camps are a risky choice, as so many programs engage in questionable methods ans skirt state licensing requirements. At Help your Teen Now, we want to guide you toward facilities that will promote long term results by approaching treatment with consistency, firmness and a therapy base. Call us today for your assessment and let us help you select an environment for your child that both healthy and helpful.

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